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Major League Soccer Announces Player Development Guidelines

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NEW YORK (Wednesday, February 21, 2024) – Major Leagues Soccer today announced the MLS Player Development Guidelines, which set out the provisions governing the league’s player development programs and MLS Homegrown players.

For the 2024 MLS Player Development Guidelines, CLICK HERE. Included in the 2024 MLS Player Development Guidelines are the following:

Homegrown Territories

The Homegrown Territory, defined as an assigned geographic area from which an MLS club has exclusive rights to develop and/or protect youth soccer talent, for each of Major League Soccer’s 29 clubs and 2025 expansion club San Diego FC are detailed.

Homegrown Players and Homegrown Priority

The rules governing prospective MLS Homegrown Players aim to incentivize MLS clubs to develop top domestic talent within MLS Academies, while accounting for variations across the geographies of the MLS ecosystem.

Homegrown Exclusivity

With the intention of establishing Homegrown Priority, an MLS club holds the exclusive right to develop players who meet the qualifications listed below. A player over whom an MLS club maintains Homegrown Exclusivity by including him on its Homegrown Player List is ineligible to be recruited by other MLS clubs.

An MLS club may establish Homegrown Exclusivity over up to 45 academy players between the U-15, U-17, and U-19 age groups. In addition to the 45 registered academy players, an MLS club may establish Homegrown Exclusivity over up to nine players who are not registered academy players, who have a permanent address or currently reside in the MLS club’s Homegrown Territory, and are in one of the U-15, U-17, or U-19 age groups.

Homegrown Player List

An MLS club must submit to the league its Homegrown Player List. The Homegrown Player List consists of players over whom an MLS club retains Homegrown Exclusivity, specifically, the 45 registered academy players and up to nine non-registered Academy players.